[BD Review] Your Eyeballs May Feel ‘Scorned’ After Watching This Flat Thriller

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As the old adage says, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” That’s also what the avenging angel in Mark Jones’ new film Scorned literally says at one point, which should show you just how innovative this erotic thriller is. It seems like Scorned is grasping to be an edgy revenge flick, but its delivery simply falls flat. There are a couple of interesting moments that hold the audience’s interest and the whole thing is really sharp looking. In the end though there’s too many hiccups with this one to make it worth the watch.

A minute into the film, I was thinking, “A movie that starts off with Billy Zane tied to a chair can’t be all bad.” Trick was on me. Zane plays a wealthy two-timing cheater who chomps cigars and wears those comfortable looking shirts with the top four buttons undone. He’s been sleeping with his girl’s best friend on the side and while he may think he’s being slick about it, he’s not smart enough to delete old text messages. Sadie doesn’t take to cheating lightly, so she binds him to a chair and feeds him some of her anti-psychotic meds. From here she lures her best friend Jennifer over and gives the couple a romantic evening together – complete with torture, electroshock therapy, and tacos.

I kinda dug the premise to a certain extent. Sadie abuses and humiliates Kevin and Jen by forcing them to go through the steps of a romantic date night. I like that idea. It’s when the film starts to flashback to Sadie’s painful past that the film begins to go a bit off the rails. She was in a mental hospital as a kid, drowned her sister, wasn’t loved by her puppy – a litany of damaging events. This backstory fails to add any depth to the narrative, however. A lot of the reason is because AnnaLynne McCord (Sadie) isn’t a particularly good actress. She plays the horny, pixie-like southern seductress perfectly fine, but as a psycho she’s got some work to do.

Zane doesn’t get much room to breathe, but he works with what he’s got. Even when we first meet him, and he’s bleeding, tied to a chair, you don’t feel bad for him. He’s so good at being a prick! As Jennifer (Viva Bianca) is okay. She gets a few emotional moments that Bianca pulls off fine. There’s just nothing really noteworthy about the character.

The way Sadi puts together her alibi is beyond coincidental and absurd. She really doesn’t have an endgame, one kinda just falls in her lap. Or, I should say she falls in its lap. For those interested in watching the film, I won’t say any further. Just know it’s so dumb and everything wraps up a little too nicely for my tastes.

I’m a rabid fan of the erotic thriller genre, so I did like how Scorned flips the script a little on the well-worn structure of the genre. It begins with Sadie knowing about her man’s infidelity, for example, rather than build up to it. And she’s the crazy one, not the mistress. Overall it just didn’t do much for me because of the reasons said. Maybe if Jones had made it more straightforward, rather than give Sadie this traumatizing backstory so she has a reason to be psycho. Glenn Close didn’t need a reason in Fatal Attraction!

Scorned hits VOD and home video Feb. 4.

 

Official Score

  • Kunt

    Ithought AnnaLynne was excellent in Excision. If it weren’t for that I don’t think I would even bother checking this out. It turns out that this movie sucks. The script is terrible, lazy and unoriginal. Some of the things that happen are simply absurd.

  • jack

    @patrick-cooper, I kinda agree that Sadie’s tortured back-story was superfluous. That’s the only thing that I can agree with you on because honestly, you’ve totally missed the point of Scorned. You are confusing exactly what kind of film it is and ultimately critiquing it in a way that it it cannot possibly live up to. An erotic thriller? It does have some of that flavor, but scorned is not meant to be judged against Basic Instinct or the films of De Palma. This movie is all about celebrating “camp”. Fun, trashy, b-grade, tongue-in-cheek, mean-spirited, bitchy, relentless and ridiculous camp. It exists between the realms of 70s/80s grindhouse/trash and Lifetime TV movies about wronged women. Scorned may not be as obvious in its trashy irreverence as something like Aja’s Piranha was, but don’t be confused, this movie is about being fun and trashy, not a serious, tense, edgy, revenge thriller. It’s opening titles and credits are pink for christ sake. And have you read the distributor Anchor Bay’s official synopsis??

    Well here it is:
    “If you’re going to cheat on your lover, don’t get caught. And if you do get caught, you’d better hope your lover isn’t secretly insane. Kevin learns the hard way when his girlfriend Sadie discovers that he’s having a scorching affair with her best friend. Now Sadie has planned a romantic weekend getaway for just the three of them, complete with terror, torture and twisted psychosexual games. The trap is set. The party has begun. And tonight, hell hath no fury like a woman SCORNED.” – Anchor Bay Entertainment

    Now does that sound like the filmmakers and distributors are have created and are trying to sell an edgy revenge thriller? Sorry, but not with sassy, tongue-in-cheek, punchy synopsis. Not happening. No offense, but you need to rewatch the film through a different lens because your critique is largely invalid concerning the type of film you try to class. And this time have a sense of humor about it.

    If you think Annalynne isn’t a particularly good good actress, you probably haven’t seen 2012′s Excision. She was exquisite. And her stint on Nip/Tuck as an entitled teen seductress/troublemaker was spot on for fun trashy times. See, Annalynne “got” what this film was and she gave an excellent performance in the parameters of what kind of film this is. And she did it very well.

    If you go in expecting something harsh and edgy. You’re gonna have a bad time. For people who understand and appreciate the type of film that Scorned is; 7.5 out of 10

  • EVIL BREAD

    Scorned was pretty disappointing. The idea was there but the execution was all wrong. There was no sense of fear, or dread, or suspense, or really any sense of anything at all. It was literally just a few badly-edited events played out in front of the camera.